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Nuggets 100, Pistons 96

December 2, 1999

DENVER (AP) _ Antonio McDyess had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Raef LaFrentz added 19 and a key blocked shot in the final seconds Wednesday night to help the Denver Nuggets beat the Detroit Pistons 100-96.

Ron Mercer also had 23 points for the Nuggets, who had lost five straight to Detroit. Denver, which played nearly the entire second half without coach Dan Issel and Nick Van Exel after early third-quarter ejections, ended a two-game losing streak.

Grant Hill had 39 points for the Pistons, who lost their third straight overall and to Denver for the first time since Dec. 4, 1995.

The Pistons led 97-96 with 47 seconds left after two free throws by Hill, who was 13-of-21 from the field and 13-of-17 from the line. Lindsey Hunter drew a charge from Mercer on Denver’s next possession, but LaFrentz blocked Hill’s shot with 12.1 seconds left.

George McCloud drew a foul and hit the first shot before missing the second. McDyess tipped the ball back to McCloud, who was fouled and hit two free throws to win it.

Denver took a 78-75 lead into the fourth quarter, but Christian Laettner scored seven points in a 9-0 run for the Pistons to open the fourth.

McCloud’s 3-pointer with 6:06 left cut the Detroit lead to 86-85 and his two free throws and an off-balance jumper by Mercer with 5:37 left gave the Nuggets an 89-86 lead.

Trailing 55-53 at halftime, the Pistons tied the game 55-55 on two free throws by Jerry Stackhouse after Van Exel and Issel had received two quick technical fouls each in a 19-second sequence to tie the game at 55-55.

Notes: The teams last played Jan. 21, 1998. ... McDyess moved into 19th place on the career Denver scoring list and has reached double-figures scoring 65 straight games, 80 in a row as a Nugget. ... Hill went down hard after taking a shot in the lower back from McDyess with 3:06 left second quarter, but finished the half. ... Detroit is 2-4 on the second night of back-to-back games.

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